Azad wins Bhaderwah by-election by over 58000 record votes
Bhaderwah, Apr 27 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Congress candidate Ghulam Nabi Azad today won the Bhaderwah Assembly by-election with a record margin of 58,015 votes against his only BJP rival Dhanatar Singh.
Out of 66,129 votes polled, Mr Azad got 62,072 votes while Mr Singh managed to gain only 4,057 votes, thus losing his security money.
With this win, the Congress has retained and won the seat for the fifth time out of total ten elections, held so far since 1967 in Bhaderwah.
Soon after the declaration of results in his favour, Mr Azad visited Bhaderwah in the afternoon and addressed a public rally at Government Higher Secondary School ground. He declared the results as a win of democracy and people of the country who, irrespective of their religion, cast and creed, have faith in the Constitution and came out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.
He expressed gratitute to public for giving him huge mandate and a befitting reply to violence mongers, who did not have faith in democratic values.
As the returning officer Rohit Khajuria announced the final result of the counting there was a scene of jubilations in the Bhaderwah town. Amid sounds of bursting of crackers people thronged to the streets of the town and distributed sweets.
Mr Azad has won the election with a biggest margin ever in the state. The previous highest margin of winning was 45,936 votes in the 1977 assembly elections when Mr Sheikh Abdul Rashid, on National Conference ticket had secured 49,937 votes from Zadibal constituency of Srinagar district, defeating Independent canditdate Jehangir Khan who managed to get 4001 votes.
Mr Azad has also earned the distinction of securing highest number of votes among the sitting chief ministerial candidates who tested their fortunes in 54 years electoral history of the state.
Only Farooq Abdulah had defeated his nearest rival Mr Ghulam Mohiud-din Salathi of congress in 1983 Assembly elections from Gandherbal by a margin of 31096 votes.
The former Power Minister Mr Mohammed Sharif Niaz had resigned on March 1 last and vacated the seat for Mr Azad, who took over as Chief Minister of Congress led coalition government of state in November last year. He was a Rajya Sabha member before winning the by-election.
This was the second Assembly elections for Mr Azad. Earlier he had unsuccessfully contested from neighbouring Inderwal constituency of Doda district in 1977, getting a paltry 959 votes and losing his security deposit too. The winning candidate Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh of the National Conference had polled 5296 votes where as Abdul Gani Goni of the Janata party had polled 2530 votes.
After his defeat in his own home district, Mr Azad left the state politics to try his hand in central politics. He made his way up in the Congress hierarchy and held several important portfolios at the Centre before coming to the state of Jammu and Kashmir as Chief Minister in November, 2005.
UNI RKS DKS RR RK1758